Selling Is Like Courting – Buyer Perspective

Job posting: Print buyer seeks energetic, modern and attractive sales rep with vast industry knowledge for long-term partnership. Must represent a financially secure company and be willing to improve my image.

Is this you?

How are you going to convince me to consider you? How are you going to woo me? (You may ask why you must woo me and not vice-versa, but in this business and marketplace, we both know that is the reality.)

Before you contact me, please discover as much about me as you can. Know what my company does. Visit our website. Get on our mailing list, and obtain samples of what we print. Visit our stores, and look at our printed signage. Think about our brand identity, and what you can recommend to make us look better. Impress me!

You must be both attractive (your work, that is) and intelligent. Just as the suit makes the man (or woman), your samples represent you. Send me some. Put me on your company mailing list. Offer to run a test file of my images, so I can see what you can do.

Don’t just try to impress me with your looks, however; actually be intelligent. Know the industry. Read trade publications, attend trade shows, remain or become up-to-date on the latest technology and presses.

Have familiarity with social media, cross-media, pURLs, gURLs (generic URLs), etc., even if your company doesn’t offer these capabilities. Buyers want a sales rep and a company with its eye on the future, one who is and will be successful, and one who can do the same for us. Would you want to partner with an old stick in the mud or someone afraid to take risks?

Finally, I will be honest if we are not a good match. I hope you will do the same.

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  • aspireforbill

    This is great advice from our Ghost Blogger/Print Buyer. Join in the conversation and talk back!

  • Kelly Mallozzi

    Whoa – S/he wants to see samples? This breaks one of our cardinal rules, but OK – IF you insist – What kind of samples impress you the most, I wonder – same industry, same style? Plus I really like the part about being honest if we are not a good fit – SO important on both sides of the equation!

  • aspireforbill

    Upcoming ghost blog submissions:
    April 12: Print Marketing Executive
    April 19: Trade Association Executive
    April 26: Small Commercial Print Shop Owner

  • elizabeth_bpi

    Good tips and reminders of how we as sales reps need to treat prospects. Thanks and look forward to reading more.

  • dion

    I’m new to the sales world, and definitely share this outlook coming from the production world.

  • John Martese

    Samples? OK, I will bring some samples when we meet. Then we can discuss the stories of how each was produced, the hurdles accounted on the way, how we overcame those hurdles, and most importantly how me and my company brought extra value to the process.

    Samples only show the destination. To some that’s enough, to others the journey is just as important.

  • Scott Feldman

    Read "Selling to Zebras" before spending any time answering "Print Buying Professional." Try not to waste your valuable selling time chasing the wrong animals. Learn to know the answer to "Print Buying Progessional’s" last statement about being a good match before you engage him/her.

  • Pello

    I understand what the Print Buyer is saying and wanting. However, I personally would not even deal with sa Print Buyer. By the time it reaches that level it is all aobut the price and who can schmooze them the best. Not interested as we sell base on value. I spend my time only speaking with CMO’s, V. P.’s of Sales or Marketing or the Communications person. Then we demonstrate the value that we bring and that value is integrated into a marketing campaign. Any one who deals with a Print Buyer is trading on price and there is always someone less expensive. If the Print Buyer comes to you for a penny less on a product they will leave you for a penny. I have not had the honor, pleasure or privilege of working with a Print Buyer in a decade and I trust that I will not.

  • Bill Farquharson

    Just saw the Print Confessions ghost blog coming this Thursday. Holy smokes! Put a reminder in your calendar to visit and give it a read.